Goodbye To A Friend

In a strange way, the founder of the VDLT wine community.

Auguste Clape, the winemaker that put Cornas on the map, has died at the age of 93. In the words of his importer, Kermit Lynch, "In the world of wine, there are many good winegrowers. However, there are only a very select few who are truly great, and Auguste Clape is among them.” Auguste’s robust, seductive purple wine will live on as his son Pierre has been making Clape Cornas for years, and his son, Olivier (Auguste’s grandson), recently came aboard.

Thousands of folks cross our path; however, just a handful influence our lives. The Chief’s passion for wine and winemakers began 25 years ago at his first wine tasting with a winemaker (Auguste Clape). Neither spoke the other’s language. Nevertheless, they tasted through the afternoon, and then went to dinner at Jacques Pic’s famous 3-star restaurant in Valence. Jacques had an intern from the kitchen, who spoke both English and French, join our table. It was a magical day and evening that changed the Chief’s life. Auguste was a soft-spoken, humble man with twinkle in his eye and tons of wisdom in his knapsack. Clape and his family created a desire in Chief to visit more and more vignerons, not just to taste their wines, but to share their company.

All Italians are not Joe DiMaggio and all Jews are not Bernard Baruch, but damn near all the winemakers the Chief has met are wonderful people that have not only shared their magnificent wine, but have molded his "live life" attitude. As long as his strength exists, the Chief intends to spend another 25 years seeking the companionship of winemakers and the joy of the gems they produce.


Thank you Auguste, Pierre, and Olivier Clape.